BirdWatching Photography Awards

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BirdWatching is proud to present...

The 2020 BirdWatching Photography Awards

For more than three decades, BirdWatching has published extraordinary photos taken by the world’s best bird photographers. After holding two successful photo contests in 2019, we’re happy to announce a new photo contest — the 2020 BirdWatching Photography Awards. Submit your best photos of birds for a chance to win!

BirdWatching is committed to ethical practices in wildlife photography.

The contest judges reserve the right to disqualify images that, in their sole discretion, appear to be the result of questionable practices, as defined by, but not limited to, those described in our FAQ and Contest Rules.

Photography Awards Prizes

Entry Deadline Extended to April 21, 2020!

Entry Deadline

April 21, 2020

Entry Packages

1 entry for $30

2 entries for $40

See FAQ & Official Rules
for more information

HAVE QUESTIONS? GET IN TOUCH!
For questions about our contests, email [email protected]

1st
prize

$1,000 cash prize

One (1) Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

One (1) SKB iSeries 2011-7 Case with Think Tank Photo Dividers & Lid Organizer (Black)

One (1) ZEISS 8×25 Terra ED Compact Binocular (Gray-Black)

One (1) Alan Murphy eBook or video of your choice

One (1) Copy of Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds, by Laura Erickson and Marie Read (Storey Publishing, 2015)

One (1) one-year print and digital subscription to BirdWatching magazine

One (1) Hardcover, high-quality Bay Photo photo book featuring winners and all finalists

Placement as BirdWatching Facebook Cover Photo

Publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching

Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery

2nd
prize

$500 cash prize

One (1) one-year print and digital subscription to BirdWatching magazine

One (1) Copy of Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds, by Laura Erickson and Marie Read (Storey Publishing, 2015)

One (1) Hardcover, high-quality Bay Photo photo book featuring winners and all finalists

Publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching

Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery

1st
prize

$1,000 cash prize

One (1) Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

One (1) SKB iSeries 2011-7 Case with Think Tank Photo Dividers & Lid Organizer (Black)

One (1) ZEISS 8×25 Terra ED Compact Binocular (Gray-Black)

One (1) Alan Murphy eBook or video of your choice

One (1) Copy of Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds, by Laura Erickson and Marie Read (Storey Publishing, 2015)

One (1) one-year print and digital subscription to BirdWatching magazine

One (1) Hardcover, high-quality Bay Photo photo book featuring winners and all finalists

Placement as BirdWatching Facebook Cover Photo

Publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching

Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery

3rd
prize

$250 cash prize

One (1) one-year print and digital subscription to BirdWatching magazine

One (1) Copy of Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds, by Laura Erickson and Marie Read (Storey Publishing, 2015)

One (1) Hardcover, high-quality Bay Photo photo book featuring winners and all finalists

Publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching

Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery

Judged by birding experts and photographers alike!

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall joined the editorial staff of BirdWatching in 2000 and has been the editor since 2017. One of the most enjoyable parts of his job is reviewing photos from professional bird photographers as well as readers. He oversaw BirdWatching’s past Photo of the Week contest and is a judge for the UK-based Bird Photographer of the Year competition.
Wes Pitts

Wes Pitts

Guest Judge
As the editor of Outdoor Photographer, a publication dedicated to the art of nature photography, Wes Pitts collaborates with many of the world’s most notable bird and wildlife photographers. Visit outdoorphotographer.com to be inspired and learn the techniques professional bird photographers use.
Laura Erickson

Laura Erickson

Guest Judge
Laura Erickson is the 2014 recipient of the American Birding Association’s highest honor, the Roger Tory Peterson Award. She has written many books about birds, hosts the long-running radio program and podcast “For the Birds,” and is a talented bird photographer. Her column “Attracting Birds,” about attracting, feeding, sheltering, and understanding the birds in your backyard, appears in every issue of BirdWatching. Learn more about her work at www.lauraerickson.com and view her photography on her Flickr page.
Alan Murphy

Alan Murphy

Guest Judge
Alan Murphy is an award-winning professional bird photographer who has been photographing birds for over 30 years. Alan leads more than 20 bird-photography workshops each year nationally and internationally. He has produced numerous ebooks and videos that teach bird photography and post processing, and his work has been published in BirdWatching many times over the years, including several covers. Visit his website to learn more about his work and sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Instagram @alanmurphyphotography.

Get Inspired

Need some tips brushing up on your photography technique? Check out our section on photographing birds to get up to speed and put together your best work for this contest!
Brush Up

Check out the finalists & honorable mentions from the 2019 Bird Portrait photography contest!

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Introduction

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If your question isn’t answered here, please send us an email at [email protected] with the following details:

  1. The name of the contest (2020 BirdWatching Photography Awards)
  2. Your username
  3. The image ID # (if applicable)
  4. The exact nature of your problem

Q: What is considered "unethical photography"?

A:

BirdWatching is committed to ethical practices in wildlife photography. The following types of photographs are considered ineligible for entry in this contest:

Images that appear to be the result of “baiting”
Images that indicate the wildlife subject is “harassed” or crowded
Close-up images of nests using a wide-angle lens
Images taken at “game farms”
Images of captive birds

The contest judges reserve the right to disqualify images that, in their sole discretion, appear to be the result of questionable practices, as defined by, but not limited to, those described above.

Q: Who may enter?

A:

Contest is open to individuals over the age of 18 and residents of the U.S. and Canada, excluding Quebec.

Q: How do I enter?

A:

Click “Submit Your Images.” You’ll need to be logged in to your BirdWatching account to enter. If you don’t have an account, click here to register for your free account.

Q: Can I submit pictures of captive birds, i.e. in zoos, aviaries, parks (i.e. Disney), pets, or do they have to be of wild birds only?

A:

We will only consider submissions of wild birds. Please do not enter photos of captive birds.

Q: In what format should I submit my photos?

A:

Each photograph must be submitted in .JPG format and cannot exceed 4 MB in size.

Q: How many photos may I enter?

A:

You may enter as many photos as you like. Pricing is one (1) photo for a $25 entry fee, or two (2) photos for a discounted fee of $35. You can purchase either of these packages as many times as you like.

Q: Pricing For Submissions

A:

Regular Entry Period
1 Photo: $25
2 Photos: $35

Simply visit the entry page at https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/photo-awards/ and the system will determine your order status.

Q: Is my credit card information secure?

A:

Absolutely! The payment form is hosted on our secure payment processor’s site and your credit card information (including your physical address) is submitted directly to the applicable credit card company through 256-bit encrypted pages. The header graphic is the only non-secure item on the payment page and only your email and the success/failure message of the transaction are submitted back to our site.

Q: Can I pass the word on this competition to my friends, classmates, Facebook/Twitter followers, etc.?

A:

Yes, please! The link to the contest portal is https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/photo-awards/

Q: Do I have to print or mail in my photos?

A:

No. Please upload entries using the online entry form. Mailed submissions will not be accepted.

Q: Can I process my photos using Photoshop or another image-processing program?

A:

Yes, but keep digital processing to a minimum. Acceptable adjustments include color balance, contrast, dust spotting, and sharpening. Do not digitally retouch your images to alter reality. Do not remove distracting elements such as foreground branches or clean up cluttered backgrounds. Do not add to the foreground or background. We are assuming that your digital image reflects what your camera recorded at the moment you made the picture.

Q: Can I watermark my photos?

A:

While we prefer you do not use watermarks on your submitted images because they can muddle the judging process, we understand that you want to protect your work. You may use a small watermark in the corner of your image, but we ask that you refrain from using a substantial watermark that covers a large portion of your photograph.

Q: When will the winners be notified?

A:

July 2020

Q: When will the winners be announced?

A:

The winners’ photos will be published in a special multi-spread feature in a future issue of BirdWatching magazine. Exact issue month and year will be communicated to the winners. All winners will be announced online in July 2020.

Q: What are the prizes?

A:

See the contest landing page or the official rules for a complete list of contest prizes.

Q: When I try to enter online, I get an error message. What's going on?

A:

If your attempts at entering online aren’t successful, our system might be struggling. Try waiting a few minutes, then clear your browser’s cache and cookies—you might even try restarting your computer—and go to the online entry page again.

Additionally, title your photos with alphanumeric characters only. Please don’t use apostrophes, ampersands or any other character symbol, as doing so may cause errors during uploading.

Q: I've tried clearing my cache and cookies, and I even bought a new computer. The online entry form just isn't working for me.

A:

Double-check that the size of your images meets our requirements. If all else fails, send us an email at [email protected]. In your email, please indicate:

  1. The name of the contest (2020 BirdWatching Photography Awards)
  2. Your username
  3. The image ID # (if applicable)
  4. The exact nature of your problem

Official Rules

BirdWatching BirdWatching Photography Awards Official Rules

ELIGIBILITY:
BirdWatching’s 2020 BirdWatching Photography Awards Photo Contest (“Contest”) is open only to individuals who are over 18 years of age and who are residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec). Employees of Madavor Media, LLC, (“Sponsors”), and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child and sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and/or those living in same household of each, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate or win. Sponsors reserve the right to verify all eligibility requirements. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

CONTEST PERIOD:
The Contest will begin on January 28th, 2020 at 7:00 AM PDT, and end on April 21th, 2020 at 11:59 PM PDT (the “Contest Period”). After April 17th, users can still submit photos from April 18, 2020 at 12:00 AM PDT until April 21st, 2020 at 11:59 PM PDT (the “Extension Period”) at an increased price.

HOW TO ENTER:
Click the submit your images button above to submit. All entries must be received by April 21st, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. PDT to be eligible. Each photograph must be submitted in .JPG and cannot exceed 4 MB in size. Entry fees during the Contest Period are $25 for one submission and $35 for two submissions. Entry fees during the Extension Period may increase.
Please note: Entries submitted online will be eligible for (i) the Grand Place Prize (as described below), (ii) Second Place Prize (as described below), (iii) Third Place Prize (as described below), and (iv) Finalist Prize (as described below).
Entry must be the original work of the entrant and entrant must be the sole owner of the copyright of such entry. Entry must be in keeping with the Sponsors’ image and may not be inappropriate or offensive, as determined by the Sponsors in their sole discretion, nor can it defame or invade publicity rights or privacy of any person, living or deceased, or otherwise infringe upon any person’s personal or property rights or any other third-party rights. The Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to disqualify any entry they deem to be offensive, inappropriate, that is not in keeping with Sponsors’ image or that is otherwise not in compliance with the terms of these Official Rules. Entrant must have obtained express written consent to submit any entry that contains persons other than entrant or third-party elements not owned by entrant and, if requested to do so, produce such written consent from appropriate parties in a form and manner acceptable to the Sponsors.
By submitting an Entry, entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsors may obtain many Entries in connection with this Contest and/or other contests staged and/or promoted by the Sponsors, and that such Entries may be similar or identical in theme, idea, format or other respects to other Entries submitted in connection with this Contest and/or other contests sponsored by the Sponsors or submitted for other reasons or other materials developed by the Sponsors. Entrant waives any and all claims entrant may have had, may have, and/or may have in the future, that any Entry and/or other works accepted, reviewed and/or used by the entrant may be similar to his/her Entry, or that any compensation is due to entrant in connection with such Entry or other works used by Sponsors.

ETHICAL PHOTOGRAPHY POLICY:

BirdWatching is committed to ethical practices in wildlife photography. The following types of photographs are considered ineligible for entry in this contest:

Images that appear to be the result of “baiting”
Images that indicate the wildlife subject is “harassed” or crowded
Close-up images of nests using a wide-angle lens
Images taken at “game farms”
Images of captive birds

The contest judges reserve the right to disqualify images that, in their sole discretion, appear to be the result of questionable practices, as defined by, but not limited to, those described above.

GRAND PLACE PRIZE JUDGING:
One (1) potential Grand Place Prize winner, one (1) potential Second Place winner, one (1) potential Third Place winner, and up to twenty-five (25) potential Finalists will be determined from among all eligible entries received by a panel of qualified judges, based equally on the following criteria: Adherence to Theme, Composition and Creativity/Originality (“Judging Criteria”). The entrants who submitted the entry receiving the highest scores, as determined by the Sponsors in their sole discretion, will be the potential winners and finalists respectively.
In the event of a tie for any prize, an additional “tie-breaking” judge will determine the applicable winner or finalists from among those tied using the Criteria. The Sponsors reserve the right to not award any prize if, in their sole discretion, an insufficient number of eligible and qualified entries are received. Decisions of the Sponsors and judges are final and binding.

WINNER NOTIFICATION:
Potential winners will be notified by telephone, mail and/or e-mail in July, 2020 and will be required to execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and, unless prohibited, a Publicity Release, a W-9 Form and any additional documents that may be required by prize provider within fourteen (14) days of date of issuance. If any potential winner is an eligible minor in his or her jurisdiction of residence, prize may, at the Sponsors’ discretion, be awarded in the name of the parent or legal guardian, and such parent or legal guardian will be required to fulfill all requirements imposed on winners set forth herein. Noncompliance with this time period or with these Official Rules, or the return of any prize notification as undeliverable, may result in disqualification and, at the Sponsors’ discretion, the prize will be awarded to an applicable runner-up.

PRIZES:

Grand Place Prize: $1,000 (U$D) cash prize;

One (1) Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD (ARV $799); One (1) SKB iSeries 2011-7 Case with Think Tank Photo Dividers & Lid Organizer (Black) (ARV $255); One (1) ZEISS 8×25 Terra ED Compact Binocular (Gray-Black) (ARV $349); One (1) One (1) One-year BirdWatching print and digital subscription (ARV $31.95); One (1) Inclusion in Bayphoto Finalists and Winners Book; Placement as BirdWatching’s Facebook Cover Photo (ARV priceless); publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching (ARV priceless); Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery.
Total First Place ARV: Approximately $2,534

Second Place Prize: $500 (U$D) cash prize;

One (1) One-year BirdWatching print and digital subscription (ARV $31.95); One (1) Inclusion in Bayphoto Finalists and Winners Book; publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching (ARV priceless); Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery.
Total Second Place ARV: approximately $531

Third Place Prize: $250 (U$D) cash prize;

One (1) One-year BirdWatching print and digital subscription (ARV $31.95); One (1) Inclusion in Bayphoto Finalists and Winners Book; publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching (ARV priceless); Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery.
Total Third Place ARV: Approximately $281

Current total ARV of all prizes: approximately $3,346

If, for any reason, the Sponsors do not feature any of the winning entries in BirdWatching Magazine, no compensation or substitution will be provided; however, the remainder of prize package will be awarded and the Sponsors will have no further obligation to winners. All prize details are at the sole discretion of the Sponsors. No substitution, cash equivalent or transfer of prizes permitted by winners. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize (or portion thereof) of comparable or greater value, in their sole discretion. All federal, state and local taxes as well as any costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being awarded are sole responsibility of each winner. Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by the Sponsors. Limit one (1) prize per household.

USE OF ENTRY:
By submitting an entry, entrant grants the Sponsors and their designees an irrevocable, royalty-free, nonexclusive, worldwide perpetual license to use the entry and his/her name, city and state of residence for credit purposes in Sponsors’ online galleries, without further compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law. In addition, each winner grants to the Sponsors and their designees an irrevocable, royalty-free, nonexclusive, worldwide perpetual license to use and distribute the entry (as submitted, or as cropped by the Sponsors), and his/her name, city and state of residence for credit purposes, in any and all media now or hereafter known, including without limitation in BirdWatching and any Madavor Media magazines for purposes of promotion of this Contest except as otherwise stated herein, without further compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law.

USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION:
Your personal information collected in connection with this Contest will be used in accordance with Madavor Media’s Privacy Policy (available at http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/privacy-policy) including, without limitation, for marketing and promotional purposes.

MISCELLANEOUS: Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for late, lost, garbled, damaged, incomplete, delayed, undelivered, or misdirected entries or photographs or for computer, technical, printing, typographical, human or other errors relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, inability to access any website associated with the Contest, errors which may occur in the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any Contest-related materials. If for any reason the Contest (or any portion thereof) is not capable of running as planned, including infection by tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest and, if terminated, at its discretion, determine winners from among all non-suspect, eligible entries received up to time of such action using judging procedure described above. By participating, entrant agrees (i) to be bound by the terms of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsors and judges, which are final and binding in all respects, and (ii) to hold the Sponsors and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, prize suppliers and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective directors, officers, employees and agents of the foregoing (collectively, the “Released Parties”), harmless against any and all claims and liability arising, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, out of or in connection with participation in this Contest, acceptance and use of any prize or Released Parties’ use of any of the rights granted herein. Sponsors may disqualify (and void all associated entries) anyone from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines that such person is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, deception or other unfair practices, or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrant or Sponsors’ representatives or who is otherwise not in compliance with the terms of these rules. ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

WINNERS’ LIST: For the list of winners (available after July 2020), send a separate, stamped, self-addressed envelope to: BWM 2020 BirdWatching Photography Awards Photo Contest Winners’ List, Attn: Marketing Department, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 404, Braintree, MA 02184, to be received by August 31st, 2020.

SPONSORS:
Madavor Media, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 404, Braintree, MA 02184
Bayphoto, 920 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066
Tamron, 10 Austin Blvd., Commack, NY 11725

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